Most Common Mistakes to Avoid When Developing Your Business
Discover How to Prevent These Frequent Small Business Mistakes
Starting a business and learning to manage it properly is not a walk in the park, whether you’re opening an independent insurance agency or anything else. Making mistakes is a natural part of the process, but since entrepreneurs have been trying to build successful businesses throughout history, many have learned some necessary lessons.
Here are some of the most common small business mistakes and how to avoid them.
Not Having a Business Plan
Failing to plan can be disastrous, and it is one of the most common mistakes small business owners make, especially when starting their first business. Business plans designed to help you develop and grow your business are vital. Without it, you will find yourself struggling to make crucial decisions, which could put you in a complicated situation in the future.
Writing a business plan should be a priority, and many tools can help you in that process —from looking for free business plan templates online to hiring professional help to get it done.
Thinking of Marketing as an Unnecessary Expense
It’s quite common among business owners to think of marketing as an unnecessary expense and struggle to find value in putting money toward marketing their business. Avoiding marketing investments will lead to a lack of brand awareness and difficulty generating leads and ramping up your sales.
The reality is that marketing is an investment, not an expense. Its purpose is to help you generate more money down the road. Considering that a $1000 investment in an ad campaign could potentially bring in $10,000 in sales, wouldn’t you want to take that risk? You don’t necessarily have to start big right from the get-go. You may want to explore other more affordable options like social media marketing and SEO first, to build up confidence.
Failing to Put Agreements in Writing
Verbal agreements should never be the norm. Even when sales happen in a somewhat casual manner, don’t neglect the need for having a written agreement. Failing to do so could bring you all kinds of problems, including legal ones.
Never get into a business relationship or provide a product or service without a written contract in place. You can either draft an agreement yourself and then run it by your attorney or legal department, or have them help you with the entire process, from the start.
Neglecting Your Finances
An accountant or bookkeeper is a must-have team member for any business, but having one on board doesn’t mean you can transfer all the finance-related responsibilities to that person. Not being involved with accounting could put you at significant risk of financial issues, such as embezzlement, cash flow issues, etc.
Your bookkeeper can manage all the daily accounting ins and outs, but make sure you understand basic accounting concepts and consistently stay on top of your finances. Schedule a call every couple of weeks to check in on what’s going on, ask for weekly accounting reports, and consider implementing the use of user-friendly accounting programs, like QuickBooks to help you keep an eye on your finances.
Ignoring the Need of a Website
Having an online presence is essential for any business, and it starts with a website. If you’re not online, your competition might be, which puts you at a disadvantage. Not having a website is like opening a business and not having a sign outside or refusing to tell people about it.
You don’t have to be a web designer to have a website. You can choose to hire a digital marketing company that can take care of designing, building, hosting, and maintaining your website, or you could resort to online website builders. Just make sure the outcome is a professional-looking website that truly represents your brand or business.
Learning from the experiences of others helps you save time and headaches, so you can focus on doing what’s needed to help your business grow.